Monday, September 25, 2006

Over on Beliefnet

I spent a lot of time at the weekend at Rod Dreher's Crunchy Con blog debating gay "marriage" with religious liberals. Some of the people could actually parse a sentence, though hopelessly trapped inside their own assumptions; others were just drama queens throwing a hissy fit (I provide the link to the combox to prove I am saying nothing behind anyone's back that I didn't say there).

Predictably, it reached the following impasse with the first set. Impasse one from Susan:
So, CM, maybe you need to bow out of this conversation since you aren't willing to think outside your ideological box. People are trying to talk more abstractly and push beyond their own perspectives, but you don't seem to be interested in that.
Impasse two from watsy:
I have no problem with Courage Man or Rod or anyone else having objective truths. But we live in a diverse culture. I want to know why CM and Rod think that they have the right to say that MNW and his spouse should not have the benefits that come with marriage.
There is a certain sense in which these are both true.

Discourse among people with incompatible first principles is pretty jejune -- one is tempted to say pointless. And it IS pointless -- absolutely so -- when one party is so wrapped up in his first principles that he doesn't even see them as disputable (fish not noticing the water and all of that). It is also true that American society is not monolithically Christian, and its government is (and should be) secular.

But where both these commenters go off the rails is the conclusions they draw from these facts (or from the implicit ways they frame these facts), and the errors they make are fairly typical (the reason for my putting them here).

For example, if it be true that I am "unwilling to think outside my ideological box" in saying that "marriage means a man and a woman and so talk of 'gay marriage' is talk of 'four-sided triangles' or 'male pregnancy'," then it is equally true that gay "marriage" advocates are equally "unwilling to think outside their ideological box" by defining marriage as "the union of two persons." Again, you have to have *some* starting point and understanding of definitions. Further, to call me "unwilling to consider abstractions" is, to be polite, batshit crazy. I insist that the gay "marriage" debate is meaningless unless and until we consider what marriage *is.*

Further, why does it follow that if Susan and I¹ cannot have meaningful discourse because our starting assumptions are too incompatible (so far, so good), that (a) the fault is with me -- i.e., I need to be the one who "bows out" of the conversation; and/or (b) only *I* have an ideological box, outside of which I am unwilling to think.

By inviting me to "bow out" Susan (ditto note 1) is indicating a belief that she gets to define the terms in, and the terms of, meaningful discourse. If I speak Spanish and someone else speaks French, it'd be false and self-righteous for me to say that the Francophone needs to "bow out" of the conversation because he doesn't speak the right language. Inability to communicate because of incompatible languages/discourses is always and inevitably a two-way street. Liberals tend not to realize that because they generally think their "language" is that of all rational men. Not realizing that it isn't. Why is Susan's invitation/dismissal more rational than for me to say that she should "bow out" because she is unwilling to think outside her ideological box (which, phenomenologically-speaking, she clearly is not)? Or to overextend the metaphor, on what basis could one assume that Spanish (or French) is the natural language of discourse, the one that sets the terms of the conversation in the first place.

And the pro-gay-'marriage' folks clearly, obviously and repeatedly show their "unwillingness to think outside their ideological box" (or insistence on speaking French) by talking as if, and using constructions that presuppose, it were already uncontroversially and incontrovertibly established that marriage is the union of two persons, rather than the union of a man and a woman. For example, watsy talks about "MNW and his spouse," which is the intellectual equivalent of stealing all four bases. And I'll say it up front -- if marriage is the defined as the union of two persons, rather than a man and a woman, then there really is nothing to discuss. Everything turns on the definition of marriage. But Susan (ditto note 1) said that my definition puts me beyond the pale.

Further, there's a political analog here to the "bow out" exhortation which intellectually-aware Christians never fail to pick up on, and which watsy made quite explicit. As extrapolated from the private sphere of a combox discussion to the body politic, that analog provides an insight on liberals' general psychology -- namely that they assume, usually without even realizing it, that the "public square" belongs to them. That others, including Christians, must participate in it on their terms. But they truly do not realize how deep their unexamined assumptions go or that they reason from principles that they take to be self-evident, but which are not. This was how watsy put it:
I don't know that it's enough to say that "somebody" has to say. I think that the person who can provide the best non-theological reasons one way or the other should get the say. The reason that I think that it should be the best "nontheological" reason is because our civil laws aren't based on the Bible or what a subset of people consider to be sacred.
In one sentence -- why are "non-theological reasons" privileged? I understand why a secularist would think they should be, but what understanding exists that a Christian (or Muslim or Jew or Zoroastrian) might find persuasive?

Yes, it is true that Bible is not the civil code, but one cannot extrapolate from that to the notion that public reason, i.e., what counts as an argument in the public sphere, therefore must be non-religious. Sure, I don't expect a non-Christian to be persuaded by a citation from Romans 1 (or even Catholic Natural Law philosophy). But why is the measure of "public reason" the ability to persuade a non-Christian? Why isn't it just as damning that a Christian will not be persuaded by an citation from Hume (or even an argument that presupposes, implicitly or explicitly, that God doesn't exist)? And if it doesn't matter that "secular" arguments can't persuade Christians, why shouldn't Christians take that as a sign that secularists consider them second-class citizens or second-class intellects?

Yes, it is true that not everybody holds the same things sacred. But everybody considers *some* things sacred. Maybe not in the "place in the monstrance for Adoration" sense of "sacred." But in the general sense of "sacred cow," meaning the that-which-cannot-be-questioned, secularists have just as many as Christians (secularism itself, equality, freedom, identity, one's personal ideology). And so someone's sense of the "sacred" will have to prevail, and there is no independent reason to privilege these secular "gods" over the Christian one. They are every bit as pre-rational and universe-defining.

The error is is assuming that one can go from the legal separation of church and state (an institutional arrangement that Christianity developed a millennium before Jefferson's ancestors were this side of the Atlantic) to the social separation of religion and society. The latter, to put it bluntly, is impossible, absent the formal disenfranchisement of Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. A religious believer has to believe that his religion is true, just as a secularist must believe that secularism ("freedom is good"; "the measure of public reason is to provide secular grounds for something") is really true. So to say that the religious person *has* to bracket his religion but a secular person need not bracket secularism is unvarnished arrogance, an imprisonment inside one's one beliefs so deep it cannot even see itself as imprisoned.

In the earlier quote above, watsy says she has no problem with "Courage Man or Rod ... having objective truths," which completely misses the point about "objective truth." By saying it's something somebody is "having," the speaker always already personalizes² or privatizes the matter, which is not what "objective truth" is. Watsy is presupposing that truth is something internal that one constructs for oneself rather than something external that is discerned -- like saying 2+2=4 (an objective truth, I think we can agree) is a matter of opinion rather than a truth binding upon you, whether you want it to be true or not.

Put that way, it's obvious that there's not much "there" there except "if everyone agreed with me, we'd all agree." Which is somewhat less than persuasive.
------------------------------------------------------
¹ It should go without saying that I use these names simply to designate ideal-types and for convenience's sake, not for the purpose of personalizing matters.
² "Personalizes" in the sense of "turns into a matter of personal opinion"; not "personalizes" in the sense of "making a disagreement into a personal attack" -- "you're a stupid bastard" and all that. As I used the word at the end of note 1

28 comments:

JB said...

Do not assume that the people you were debating are Christians.

Susan is a clearly a secular leftist of the most doctrinal nature and another frequent commenter is an avowed PAGAN.

Why these people even go to a religious site is beyond me, but...

GreenEngineer said...

You want out of the box? OK.

Reposted from one of the CCon threads:

It's simple. If marraige is sacred, then let's get the government out of the marraige business and make it a strictly reglious institution. Define the secular rights currently accorded to married couples in terms of a legal domestic partnership. Then let each church define marraige in whatever terms it feels is appropriate, including or excluding whomever they feel like.

This solution neatly addresses the practical concern among gay people, that they have access to the same rights and privlidges that straight people have. It also addresses the fundemental moral/legal concern, because it makes straight people and gay people equal before the law. If the only form of secular union available is domestic partnership (or whatever you want to call it), then there's none of that "separate but equal" crap.

It also addresses the concern of religious conservatives (at least ones who think like Rod and Julie Lyons, whom I sincerely hope are the majority), because it moves the sacred tradition of marraige firmly into the realm of the church, which is where sacred traditions belong.

I admit that there are probably some extreme gay activists who will find this unacceptable, and who will want to insist on intruding on the reglious tradition of marraige. Just like there are some religious folks who would like to intrude, legally, into what kinds of activity I am allowed to engage in at home with my wife. However, these are minority positions. I think most gay people would be happy to accept secular domestic partnership as long as it is equitable regardless of sexual orientation.


Rod over at CC had a specific objection to this solution. What's yours?

GreenEngineer said...

jb,

and another frequent commenter is an avowed PAGAN.

Why these people even go to a religious site is beyond me, but...


First of all, whether your like it or not, paganism is a religion.

Second, some of us think there is value in discourse with people who have a different perspective and different ideas. There are some very great crises facing humanity in the present and near future, and we'll have a much better chance of addressing them effectively if we understand each other.

Winston Norris III said...

Everything turns on the definition of marriage.

That's correct.

I'd like to ask a couple of simple questions, Courage Man.


If you were to look at each individual statute that pertains to civil marriage, what purpose do you think each one generally serves?

Do you think each statute pertains to the maleness and femaleness of the couple at hand, or do you think that each statute pertains to the couple itself, and the needs of the couple as a couple?

Are the legal protections, legal priveleges, legal benefits, and legal rights associated with legal marriage pertinent to the sexes of the couple?

Does the legal definition of marriage turn on whether or not a man and a woman are present in the marriage? It is my belief that the court would consider the intent of the laws when determining the constitutionality of such a case. In fact, it is part of the decision in the Goodrich case in Massachusetts. What intention did the legislators have in creating the statutes pertaining to marriage? Were the statutes intended to provide legal protections to a married couple or to a man and a woman as a married couple?

JB said...

Greenengineer,

Oh please. Enough with the we-need-to-consider-all-positions, postmodern, everything-is-relative nonsense.

Scientology is a "religion" too, I suppose and they think people came from space aliens.

We need to invite Tom Cruise to this discussion.

Now I am open-minded?

GreenEngineer said...

jb,

No, now you're a narrow-minded person with a wide sarcastic streak.

How about you address my more substantive comment/suggestion?

CourageMan said...

jb:

I don't remember specifically what Susan may or may not have said about her religious background. But I remember some in those discussions said they were Christians, and I generally think it best to take someone's word on that narrow point.


engineer:

What you suggest might make a plausible end-game settlement in the event that five justices decide that the penumbras and emanations include a right to marry someone of the same sex.

But such a move would be one more step in the descralization and demystification of both sex and marriage, plus another step in the decoupling of sex and children (and thus the trivialization of life).

These processes, BTW, are what really irks me about homosexual "marriage" (I honestly couldn't care less what goes on at the Metropolitan Community Church or behind Dupont Circle doors). And yes, I therefore also detest divorce and heterosexual rutting — the latter two being far more damaging because by definition far more widespread (gays are, after all, only 2-3% of the populace).


winston:

If you were to look at each individual statute that pertains to civil marriage, what purpose do you think each one generally serves?

That's an error in thought.

The secular state subsidizes marriage because it wants to encourage it as an institution -- for reasons having to do with reproduction and the raising of the next generation. There is no need for subsidizing or privileging same-sex relationships (or heterosexual hookups with no intent of permanence; yes, I oppose civil unions and common-law "marriage" for that reason).

But that doesn't mean that every detail of marriage law, and the privileges and immunities therein, needs to be narrowly tailored to that specific end, or be sex-specific.

Winston Norris III said...

Scientology is a "religion" too, I suppose and they think people came from space aliens.

Do you have conclusive evidence that we didn't come from space aliens?

Winston Norris III said...

The secular state subsidizes marriage because it wants to encourage it as an institution -- for reasons having to do with reproduction and the raising of the next generation.

THAT is an error in thought.

Gay couples already reproduce AND they're already raising the next generation.

Why should the government only "subsidize" the marriages that YOU approve of, when gay couples are already fulfilling that which you claim the government wishes to encourage through legal marriage?

CourageMan said...

Gay couples already reproduce...

Um ... I may have gotten the facts of life wrong, but I think that is by definition untrue.


they're already raising the next generation.

Only under two circumstances: (1) adoption, which is to say, only with the encouragement of the state trying to force-feed its discriminationphobia (in other words, this not a natural fact, but a circumstance created by the state); and (2) as left over from other, fertile unions (like previous marriages, say -- McGreevey being one example). But the natural relationship between the child and the parent has nothing to do with the parent's gay partnership. It is thus not an argument for subsidizing gay unions, per se.

Your last paragraph indicates that there is really skepticism about whether it is ever just to approve X and not-approve Y on any basis other than personal prejudice.

Winston Norris III said...

WNIII: Gay couples already reproduce...

CM: Um ... I may have gotten the facts of life wrong, but I think that is by definition untrue.

Um ... gay people have the same equipment straight people do, CM. There are all kinds of ways that gay people reproduce. I have a friend who has two children. She is a lesbian. The father of her children is a gay man. They planned their children together. They did it "the old fashioned way". They are raising their children together. The father has been happily married to another man for 18 years. The mother lost her partner a few years back. I have other friends that are a lesbian couple. They had their daughter through in vitro fertilzation with an anonymous donor through a sperm bank. They're raising their daughter together. They are a family. As you can see, CM, gay people do, by definition, reproduce.




WNIII: they're already raising the next generation.

CM: Only under two circumstances: (1) adoption, which is to say, only with the encouragement of the state trying to force-feed its discriminationphobia (in other words, this not a natural fact, but a circumstance created by the state); and (2) as left over from other, fertile unions (like previous marriages, say -- McGreevey being one example). But the natural relationship between the child and the parent has nothing to do with the parent's gay partnership.

The natural relationship between Mrs. Michael Brady and Greg, Peter, and Bobby had nothing to do with her relationship to Mr. Michael Brady, but they were legally married, were they not? (and yes, I know its just a tv show...but similar situations do exist in reality...and they are quite common).

And obviously, given the fact that gay people do reproduce and already have, wouldn't you say that there are a number of different ways besides the two you've mentioned where gay couples are raising the next generation?




It is thus not an argument for subsidizing gay unions, per se.

Is it an argument to subsidize remarried widows (Carol Brady) and their widowed spouses (Mike Brady)?

Scenario A: A widowed woman with one biological child marries a man with no children. The childless man legally adopts the child of his wife as his own.

Scenario B: A gay woman with one biological child marries a woman with no children. The childless woman legally adopts the child of her wife as her own.

Based on your argument that "The secular state subsidizes marriage because it wants to encourage it as an institution -- for reasons having to do with reproduction and the raising of the next generation", why would the government subsidize the marriage of the couple in scenario A, but not the marriage of the couple in scenario B, given that both circumstances are identical in regards to "reasons having to do with reproduction and the raising of the next generation"?




Your last paragraph indicates that there is really skepticism about whether it is ever just to approve X and not-approve Y on any basis other than personal prejudice.

Here's the question I asked in the last paragraph:

Why should the government only "subsidize" the marriages that YOU approve of, when gay couples are already fulfilling that which you claim the government wishes to encourage through legal marriage?

Care to answer it, instead of stating what you think it indicates? It's a question...an expression of inquiry...it indicates that an answer or response is invited.

GreenEngineer said...

But such a move would be one more step in the descralization and demystification of both sex and marriage

The point of my proposal is precisely to secularize, not marraige, but the legal civil union. You can keep your sacred marraige: that's between you, your priest, and your god. But the secular legal construct that is currently called marraige conveys some very specific, and very important, legal rights to its participants.

Ignoring the issues of children for the moment, legal marraige is a way for an individual to choose another person as their commited partner. Among other things, it includes a designation as next of kin, and an effective power of attorney. Granted, these legal implements can be had without marraige, but the process is expensive and difficult and the result generally has less legal standing than a marraige, if only because it does not carry the same weight of precedent.

So, secular marraige is (among other things) a mechanism by which one person may choose to reciprocally grant legal rights to another. Both parties are free adults, equal before the law as citizens of the United States.

BY WHAT RIGHT DO YOU CLAIM TO DENY A COUPLE EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE OF THE SAME SEX?

Need I remind you tha equality before the law is one of the absolute foundation stones of our Republic? Any idea, principle, or ethic that denies it is not compatible with the principles on which this nation was founded.

I would also point you to the precedent of American history. Denying a citizen equality before the law for the sake of maintaining social order has a long and shameful history in our country. By holding the position that you do, you are aligning yourself with some of the worst aspects of our past. Most notably and clearly, the Jim Crow laws of the South.

Winston Norris III said...

Well said, GreenEngineer.

But what I don't get is why you think the name needs to be changed. It's a civil marriage. It's clear to me that there is a distinct difference between civil marriage and religious marriage.

I am married. What differnce does it make if my marriage is not recognized by a church? All that matters is that it be recognzied by the state. I am married. What's wrong with calling the legal recognition of my marriage a "civil marriage"?

GreenEngineer said...

Winston,

Oh, I'm not stuck on the name. Whatever you want to call it, it's the legal rights that matter in the secular domain. My relinquishment of the word "marraige" is really just effort to respect their boundaries of the sacred (which makes more sense in the context of the original discussion, over at CCons). You know, it's like not dissing Mohammed to a Muslim. :_)

Winston Norris III said...

Ah, but you see, GE...

These "Christians" that are so adamant about denying my marriage legal recognition have absolutely no concern whatsoever about the title "marriage".

I mean, why else do you think every single constitutional amendment that has been proposed and/or passed includes something to the affect of:

Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any State, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups


You see, these "Christians" aren't in any way concerned about "protecting marriage"...they are ONLY concerned with discriminating against those they find "abominable". They only wish to codify their religion-based prejudice towards gay people with these amendments. Not one of these "Christian" claiming "family" organizations that has sprung up over the last decade or so is proposing any legal protections for gay couples. Every one of them is proposing the complete denial of the legal recognition of the marriages of gay couples.

JB said...

"Winston Norris" said:

Do you have conclusive evidence that we didn't come from space aliens?

WE? What do you mean we kemosabe?

I know I didn't come from space aliens, but after reading your comments I can't say the same for you.

Winston Norris III said...

WE? What do you mean we kemosabe?

Well, Tonto, anyone with an IQ over 50 could probably figure out that "we", in the context of what was written, meant "the human race".





I know I didn't come from space aliens, but after reading your comments I can't say the same for you.

Do you have any conclusive evidence that you didn't come from space aliens?

As for me, I don't believe I came from space aliens, but I have no conclusive evidence that I didn't, so I don't completely rule it out. It's possible, I suppose, but probably not likely.

CourageMan said...

Winston:

Gay people do not reproduce qua gay people, as your examples actually prove. Homosexuality is inherently, always and by nature infertile, and so the state has no interest.

[blink, blink]

I really can't believe I'm having a discussion where it's necessary to point out that only the male-female union creates life.

CourageMan said...

As for blended families, and the Brady Bunch analogy (and don't worry, references to trashy pop culture are most welcome):

You're conflating two separate issues -- the definition of marriage (which comes first), and how this definition will be applied in given cases. Your Scenario A and Scenario B are different in that the couple in Scenario B cannot marry, any more than the later couples in the "Big Love" situation (Scenario C) can marry.

There is also the not-so-small matter than the couple in Scenario B are holding themselves out to the world as engaged in immoral acts, and so participate in the normalization and forced public-subsidy of them.

Look, I have no doubt that people live out different arrangements, often in response to tragedy and/or mistake -- the commonest one relevant to this discussion being a person marrying, begetting and then deciding that he's really gay (so now, what happens to the children).**

But that doesn't cast doubt on the definition of marriage, or why we subsidize it, any more than the five-legged cow proves it false to say that cows have four legs. And social policy and social understandings have to based on norms, not exceptions, otherwise, nothing can be defined or coherently talked about.

Without a structural link to children, there is no reason marriage serves the public good.


** For the record, and for precisely that reason, I don't think it's generally a good idea for persons with strong and persistent homosexual attractions, like myself, to marry in the hope of curing themselves that way.

CourageMan said...

Why should the government only "subsidize" the marriages that YOU approve of...

Care to answer it, instead of stating what you think it indicates?


I don't approve of the terms of the question, which presuppose a personalist morality and a nihilistic epistemology. It's a "have you stopped beating your wife yet?" question.

Winston Norris III said...

Homosexuality is inherently, always and by nature infertile, and so the state has no interest.

Gay people procreate, CM. No matter how much you want to believe they don't, they do.

The state does not require a couple to possess the ability to procreate in order to obtain a civil marriage license. Obviously, the state does not think it is of interest. Come on, CM...be honest...it's YOU that cares...not the state.

CourageMan said...

greenengineer wrote:

The point of my proposal is precisely to secularize, not marriage, but the legal civil union.

Apart from nomenclature, how's that different from the status quo (as a matter of the structure of the church-state relationship; not the definition of who can marry).

There is already, formally at least, a state-church division on marriage matters. That is, you must get a license from the state and register, in order to be "married." In most cases, sure, the state simply ratifies pro forma what the church does. But the state already performs some marriages itself -- "the JP in the next county" -- and they are just as good for state purposes.

CourageMan said...

I've already answered your "gays reproduce" argument. They don't.

And ... "the state does not require a couple to possess the ability to procreate in order to obtain a civil marriage license" ... conflates (1) the reasons for subsidizing the institution as a whole and for setting social norms, with (2) how the institution applies in a given case. We don't require specific proof of ability to reproduce for very good reasons of privacy and state intrusion. There is no need to violate anyone's privacy to know that two men aren't going to reproduce.

CourageMan said...

greenengineer wrote:

BY WHAT RIGHT DO YOU CLAIM TO DENY A COUPLE EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE OF THE SAME SEX?

CAN THE SHOUTING!!!!!


Need I remind you that equality before the law is one of the absolute foundation stones of our Republic?

But the persons in question are not similarly situated (you can't "set aside" the issue of children).

Look -- all laws create classifications and then treat unequally on the basis of said classification. One of the reasons I so detest current political discourse is its utter indiscriminateness on matters of discrimination. All "discrimination" means is "unequal treatment" and not all "unequal treatment" is immoral -- only the unequal treatment of the equal. But as sure as the cow's coming home, you make the instant comparison to segregation, as though that settled the matter.

Nor is there any denail of any person's right to marry: anybody can marry anybody whom he is eligible to marry (meaning no relatives, only one, opposite-sex, partner-unmarried, etc.); nobody can marry anybody whom he is ineligible to marry (meaning relatives, multiple spouses, persons of the same sex, etc.). A desire to marry a relative, multiple persons, someone of the same sex, etc., no matter how fierce and "inborn" you think it is, does not create a right, any more than a desire for property creates a right to theft.


secular marriage is (among other things) a mechanism by which one person may choose to reciprocally grant legal rights to another.

There are mechanisms to do this available to any two (or three or more) persons without reference to sexual behavior.

Winston Norris III said...

Without a structural link to children, there is no reason marriage serves the public good.

That is incorrect.

Civil marriage serves the public good in a plethora of ways. It provides benefits, such as retirement security for couples, wherein when a person dies, their social security, pension, and other forms of security continue to subsidize the livelihood of the surviving spouse. It provides priveleges, in that a married spouse is not required to testify in a court of law against their spouse. It provides responsibilities, in that a married spouse can make medical decisions for their spouse in the event of they are incapacitated. These are just examples of the many rights, benefits, priveleges, and responsiblities civil marriage confers. There are many, many more.

In the state I live in there are 588 statutes pertaining to marriage. In the last year or so, the state sponsored a study to determine how many of these statutes could be contracted through legal lawyer-drawn filings. Of the 588 statutes, only 8 could be "duplicated" and at a much higher financial cost than a civil marriage license.

Any marriage statute pertaining to children equally applies to those gay couples who are raising children. In other words, whatever reason the protections, rights, responsibilities, and priveleges are conveyed through civil marriage to a married couple with children, the same reason would apply to a gay couple with children...though these statutes are but a very small percentage of marriage statutes in general.

Winston Norris III said...

I've already answered your "gays reproduce" argument. They don't.

Now you're just being ignorant, CM.

Gay people have biological children, whether you want to admit it or not. They do.


And ... "the state does not require a couple to possess the ability to procreate in order to obtain a civil marriage license" ... conflates (1) the reasons for subsidizing the institution as a whole and for setting social norms, with (2) how the institution applies in a given case. We don't require specific proof of ability to reproduce for very good reasons of privacy and state intrusion. There is no need to violate anyone's privacy to know that two men aren't going to reproduce.

Sheesh. You are thick aren't you.

Marriage laws were not and are not created to serve the idea of children, CM. You can say it over and over and over again, but it won't change the truth. Marriage laws exist to support families, not children. Gay people have families, CM. Some have children. Some don't. But either way, they're still families, and still guaranteed to be respected equally by the law.

Winston Norris III said...

For the record, and for precisely that reason, I don't think it's generally a good idea for persons with strong and persistent homosexual attractions, like myself, to marry in the hope of curing themselves that way.

For the record, you should seriously consider getting some professional, not religious, help. The idea that homosexual attractions somehow require "curing", is symptomatic of someone with severe psychosis and delusion. No reputable medical or psychological professional would diagnose homosexual attractions as something that needs to be "cured".

CourageMan said...

Sheesh. You are thick aren't you.

For the record, you should seriously consider getting some professional, not religious, help.

Winston, you are a guest in my home. I've given you fair warning. Those kind of remarks have no place in honest discourse. And less-than-no-place from guest to host.

You are hereby banned, and all your remarks henceforth will be deleted. I'm keeping your current comments for the record.